Prayerful Protest for Floyd in Ferguson

On Saturday, I was once again able to join with Civil Righteousness as Christians gathered in Ferguson, this time in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and all that is currently transpiring. This was the first of a 21-day call to prayer and action referred to as the Isaiah 58 Fast, running from May 30 to June 19.

We came out to form The Wall, lining up on the opposite side of S. Florissant from the Ferguson fire and police stations to be a presence and to silently pray. Participants stood with white tape covering their mouths, a single word written on that tape to publicly express the cries of our hearts in prayer.

On this day, my word—my prayer—was "HOPE."

While I struggle to find one all-encompassing word for the pain so many of us feel and our many needs, as I prayed even for what that word should be, I felt how desperately hope is needed. To have this eruption not only in cities across the U.S. but even now in London, and right in the middle of the multi-faceted tensions of a pandemic, I feel it even more. And, far more significantly, I know that hope will only be found as people come to know Jesus Christ Himself, the only one who can truly heal our world as it ever louder groans.

After gathering up some photos, I settled into the line—and finally wept. I have found over the years that I must do something with these emotions, and have learned, sadly far too many times since 2014, that this must include prayer and lament with God's people. The moment I saw the announcement of this event the night before, I knew I was supposed to be there taking all this to the Lord.

As I stood on that street I've traveled many times since my childhood, hearing the honks and hollers of approval from people of all backgrounds for a protest—ANY protest at this point—I felt the full-on exhaustion from this repetition of history that continues to cost us all so much. In my mind rang sentiments from black friends and community members, ranging from, "I'm depressed," or, "I had to shut down this time," to all-out rage of various stripes.

Lord Jesus, come quickly. Oh God, bring us Your hope.

Church, we cannot be surprised where we are, and we cannot continue as we have and expect change. I echo the call of organizer Jonathan Tremaine Thomas for the body of Christ to be out demonstrating who God is. We need to be a true presence in our communities, bringing the light of Christ to drive out the darkness. Jesus came to Earth, God present among us. He left us His Spirit, the presence of God in us. Now we can bring His very presence into our communities as we unite and pray and serve.

Whatever emotions you may be processing, I encourage you to channel them through the truths of the Gospel and in light of the sacrificial Savior who loved us enough to die for us. By His blood we are one in Christ, and we can and must love each other and our neighbors. Seek opportunities for prayer and service, whether in St. Louis or in your own community. Share news of events like this, which are far less likely to receive media coverage. And, as always, listen in order to truly hear and learn in order to truly love. Actual dialogue plays a crucial part in loving like Jesus, and bringing His hope to a hopeless world.

Tape and markers...

...Weapons of war

Post gathering and time of Communion

You can view video of the entire event here:
Watch for more events and prayer gatherings to come on the Civil Righteousness website or follow their social media channels.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts. Have a great day!